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The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) played down threats to the game’s 50-overs format on Wednesday, saying a “healthy” number of one-day internationals will be played in the 2023-27 cycle.
The proliferation of lucrative domestic T20 leagues have cramped up cricket’s already-strained calendar and England all-rounder Ben Stokes attributed his shock ODI retirement to an “unsustainable” schedule.
Earlier this month SA abandoned their ODI tour of Australia as it clashed with the launch of their domestic T20 league, raising their chances of qualifying directly for the 2023 World Cup in India.
ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said structuring of the game’s three formats was discussed at the governing body’s AGM in Birmingham where the Future Tours Programme 2023-27 was finalised.
“I think at this stage there is some discussion, not specifically about ODIs, but about the mix of formats within the calendar,” Allardice said in a video conference.
“Countries are still scheduling a healthy number of ODIs as well. So in the Future Tours Programme, I don’t think you’ll see any significant change to the number of ODIs or the proportion of ODIs as being planned.”
Australia Test batsman Usman Khawaja has said one-day cricket is “dying a slow death”. Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram called the format a “drag”.
Allardice conceded some members put “particular attention on their domestic leagues” but insisted their commitment to international and bilateral cricket was “as strong as it’s ever been”.
“Each of them has to manage that balance between domestic competitions, their international schedule and the management of their players. Each of those boards is in a slightly different situation. So there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to that balancing issue.”
ICC chair Greg Barclay acknowledged franchise-based leagues were expanding fast. “So there’s a lot of pressure on the calendar, but I’m not sure it’s a tipping point,” said the New Zealander.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.